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Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

aka Once Upon a Time in the West

"There were three men in her life. One to take her... one to love her... and one to kill her."

Directed By: 
Details: 175 mins · English, Italiano · PG-13 (USA)


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From Everybody:


Got bored slightly. Didnt have the driving mometum that the good, the bad, and the ugly had. Didnt like the faces in it much either, an woman does no good to this story. Have to rewatch the Ulgy one again, as this made me forgot that Epic. Not so recommendable, but worthy to watch once. When half the movie focuses on faces, should'd they be good-looking?

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Small Frank
Small Jill McBain
Small Cheyenne
Small Harmonica
Small Morton (railroad baron)
Small Sam
Small Stony (member of Frank's gang)
Small Snaky (member of Frank's gang)
Small Sheriff
No_movie_poster Brett McBain
Small Barman


Small Ennio Morricone Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Tonino Delli Colli Director of Photography
Small Sergio Leone Director
Small John Landis Stunts
No_movie_poster Carlo Simi Production Design
No_movie_poster Nino Baragli Editor
No_movie_poster Bino Cicogna Producer
Small Dario Argento Author
Small Bernardo Bertolucci Author
No_movie_poster Antonella Pompei Costume Design
No_movie_poster Eros Bacciucchi Special Effects
No_movie_poster Fulvio Morsella Producer
Small Sergio Leone Other
No_movie_poster Sergio Donati Writer
Small Dario Argento Story Contributor
Small Bernardo Bertolucci Story Contributor
Small Sergio Leone Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Mickey Knox Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Nino Baragli Editing


"There were three men in her life. One to take her... one to love her... and one to kill her."


The film portrays two conflicts that take place around Flagstone, a fictional town in the American Old West: a land battle related to construction of a railroad, and a mission of vengeance against a cold-blooded killer. The main storyline revolves around a struggle for Sweetwater, a piece of land near Flagstone containing the region's only water source. The land was bought by Brett McBain (Frank Wolff), who foresaw that the railroad would have to pass through that area to provide water for the steam locomotives. When railroad tycoon Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti) learns of this, he sends his hired gun Frank (Henry Fonda) to simply intimidate McBain to move off the land, but Frank instead kills McBain and his three children, planting evidence on the scene to frame the bandit Cheyenne (Jason Robards) and his gang. By the time McBain's new bride, Jill (Claudia Cardinale), arrives from New Orleans, the family is dead and she is the owner of the land.

Meanwhile, a mysterious harmonica-playing gunman (Charles Bronson), whom Cheyenne later dubs "Harmonica", pursues Frank. In the film's opening scene, Harmonica kills three men sent by Frank to kill him, and, in a roadhouse on the way to Sweetwater, he informs Cheyenne that the three gunfighters he killed appeared to be posing as Cheyenne's men. Sometime later, Harmonica kills two men sent by Frank to kill Jill.

Back at Sweetwater, construction materials are delivered to build a railroad station and a small town. Harmonica explains to Cheyenne that Jill will lose Sweetwater unless the station is built by the time the track's construction crews reach that point, and Cheyenne puts his men to work building it.

Meanwhile, Frank turns against Morton, who wanted to make a deal with Jill. Frank's betrayal is made easy by the fact that Morton is crippled. After coercing her into sex, Frank forces Jill to sell the property in an auction. He tries to buy the farm cheaply by intimidating the other bidders, but Harmonica arrives, holding Cheyenne at gunpoint, and makes a much higher bid based on his reward money for delivering Cheyenne to the authorities. Harmonica rebuffs an offer by Frank to buy the farm off him for one dollar more than he paid at the auction. Immediately after, some of Frank's men try to kill Frank, having been paid by Morton to turn against him, but — much to Jill's outrage — Harmonica helps Frank kill them in order to save that privilege for himself.

After Morton and the rest of Frank's men are killed in a battle with Cheyenne's gang, Frank goes to Sweetwater to confront Harmonica. On two occasions, Frank has asked Harmonica who he is, but both times Harmonica refused to answer him. Instead, he mysteriously quoted names of men Frank has murdered. This time, Harmonica says : "Only at the point of dying". The two men position themselves for a duel, at which point Harmonica's motive for revenge is revealed in a flashback: When Harmonica was a boy, a younger Frank, already a cruel bandit, forced him to balance his adult brother on his shoulders while his brother had a noose around his neck. As the boy struggled to support his brother's weight, Frank stuffed a harmonica in his mouth and told him to play for his brother. Harmonica finally collapses, and his brother dies. The sound of breathing in and out of a harmonica is the basis for the character's theme throughout the film.

Harmonica draws first and shoots Frank, and when Frank again asks who he is, he puts the harmonica in Frank's mouth. Frank nods weakly in recognition and dies. With Frank dead, Harmonica and Cheyenne say goodbye to Jill, who is supervising construction of the train station as the track-laying crews reach Sweetwater. Cheyenne collapses, revealing that he had been fatally shot during the fight with Frank's gang. The work train arrives, Jill carrying water to the rail workers, and Harmonica rides away with Cheyenne's body.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1969-05-28 : United States of America

DVD : 2010-05-18

DVD : 2003-11-18